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Canberra Observed

This Month

Why Albanese should stare down the Greens

If Labor’s 2030 target is blocked by the Greens, most would expect Anthony Albanese to crab walk away. But a double dissolution could give Labor a majority in the Senate with the support of 19 teals.

  • John Black
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet talk to flood victims at a community pantry in Windsor.

Labor learns government is not so easy as it seemed in opposition

It is silly that a prime minister should have to justify his trip to the NATO summit. But that’s the upshot of complaining your way into office.

  • Phillip Coorey


Anthony Albanese has had a stellar first week as prime minister.

Anthony Albanese’s Paris trip a final act of contrition to the French

Twenty-six years ago France was the most hated country in the region. France is still unloved, but Australia is happy to have another nuclear-armed ally in the Pacific.

  • Phillip Coorey
Anthony Albanese wants his government top rapidly fulfil its election promises and then build an agenda for the next election.

Labor is planning to win next election off its own bat

Winning power with just 32.8 per cent of the primary vote was rather weird. But it leaves ample scope to build on and consolidate that support over the next three years.

  • Phillip Coorey
June 10, 2022

Rookie government holds its nerve on the gas trigger

After being snowed by the energy companies at first, Chris Bowen and Madeleine King have announced plans to toughen the domestic reserve mechanism.

  • Phillip Coorey
New Liberal leader Peter Dutton has promised to show voters his softer side.

Liberals will let teal seats stew on lack of power for now

Peter Dutton said the path back to government runs through the suburbs, regions and small business. He says he has not abandoned the blue-ribbon seats lost to teal independents.

  • Phillip Coorey


Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and President of the United States Joe Biden during the group photo at the Quad leaders’ meeting in Tokyo.

From Biden to bin night: Albanese’s big week out

Anthony Albanese’s performance in Tokyo was welcomed by Quad allies nervous at the prospect of a Labor government and whether it would stand up to Beijing.

  • Phillip Coorey

Law of the jungle swallows fear of budget black hole

From the working classes to the chattering classes, almost everyone seems to have abandoned the need to even consider budget discipline.

  • Phillip Coorey
My turf or yours?

Albanese averages a gaffe a week, voters don’t seem to care

Anthony Albanese wages foray was unplanned and unscientific but has moved the conversation to Labor’s turf

  • Phillip Coorey
“The handshake” confirmed  the misgivings hundreds of thousands of voters had harboured about Mark Latham.

Last two weeks a goalmouth scramble for Morrison

The Coalition is a bit like the polar bear on a shrinking ice floe. This election is as much about not losing voters as it is about trying to win new ones.

  • Phillip Coorey


Scott Morrison visited Norship in Cairns last week in his re-election bid.

Is a mid-campaign rate rise about to torpedo the government?

The prospect of higher interest rates makes this economic battle one about winning the relativities.

  • Phillip Coorey
Zoe Daniel at her election campaign launch in Sandringham

Photograph by Paul Jeffers

Teal independents pick up where the Democrats left off

The Climate 200 candidates running in rich Liberal seats are new. But in terms of appeal, they are a reheated version of the Australian Democrats.

  • Phillip Coorey
The race is on, and it could turn out to be a photo finish.

This election is going to be a sprint to the finish

Anthony Albanese wanted to be kicking with the wind in the final quarter. But he may find himself defending an early lead for too long against a scrapper like Scott Morrison.

  • Phillip Coorey
The backlash over Liberal preselection issues in NSW has battered the Prime Minister.

Scott Morrison becomes a punching bag for Labor and Liberals alike

Days before an election is called, Morrison is not just the nation’s leader, he is the national punching bag.

  • Phillip Coorey


April 1, 2022

Morrison puts all his chips on the budget roulette wheel

If the budget shifts the polling dial even a fraction this weekend, there may be grounds for hope. Or despair if it does not.

  • Phillip Coorey
When Athony Albansese resurfaced on Thursday he was consumed by questions about the bullying of Kimberley Kitching.

Sanctimony is a dangerous card to play in politics

Those who warned that the weaponisation of the term “bullying” for political purposes was an exercise in mutually assured destruction have been vindicated.

  • Phillip Coorey
The late Kimberley Kitching (left) put noses out of joint in the Labor hierarchy. It was an open secret that Wong

Mean girls and boys’ clubs plague all the parties

Once more in politics, we have serious allegations being levied by friends of a dead woman. This time, however, it concerns Labor.

  • Phillip Coorey
Anthony Albanese addresses The Australian Financial Review Business Summit.

Why business is pining for workplace reform

It is easy to talk a big game about consensus government in the style of Hawke and Keating, but Labor’s opposition to the omnibus industrial relations bill does not inspire confidence.

  • Phillip Coorey
When things go wrong: instead of rushing to reopened Western Australia, Scott Morrison is in isolation with COVID-19.

Just 10 weeks until election day and both sides are nervous

Labor’s done the right thing supporting the government on Ukraine. But it also underscores just how mindful the party is that it can still lose it from here.

  • Phillip Coorey


WA Premier Mark McGowan.

McGowan gets the speed wobbles and goes out there

The Premier’s unctuous piety shows the world’s most popular pandemic leader is on the defensive. But whether conservative voters will come back to the fold remains a delicate dance in the west.

  • Phillip Coorey